Burlesque-themed cafe denied before reaching P&Z

Rumors of a burlesque-themed cafe coming to 303 Old Bridgeport Avenue were short-lived as the city’s Planning and Zoning administrator denied the application even before it had the chance to appear before the commission at its Nov. 14 meeting.

P&Z Administrator Rick Schultz issued a letter to Hush It Up LLC Owner Randi England on Tuesday afternoon notifying her that her application, as presented, had been denied due to conflicts with her proposed usage of the property.

Schultz’s letter reads as follows:

“I have reviewed your Application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance #2304 for approval of a cafe with entertainment located at 303 Old Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT.

“Based on this review and consultation with the Assistant Corporation Counsel, I have made a determination that your Statement of Use indicates that a Speakeasy activity is proposed at this location which is a prohibited use.

“Accordingly, your Application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance #2304 has been determined not to comply with the Shelton Zoning Regulations and is hereby rejected.”

The would-be Shelton business gained attention of residents when a person, who England claims is a “rogue ex-partner,” posted to a Hush Shelton Facebook page that described the cafe as a place that featured adult entertainment.

The person managing the Hush’s Facebook page stated that the establishment would “in no way shape or form” be a strip club, but in a private message with candidate for Third Ward Alderman Pat Jeanetti indicated otherwise.

Jeanetti posted screenshots of their conversation to Facebook in the private group called “Shelton CT Moms.” In their conversation the person managing the Hush Shelton Facebook said the business will feature a room for topless lap dances. The person operating Hush’s Facebook went on to say that the women working in the establishment would never be 100 percent nude. Residents didn’t seem to care as they were more concerned with the proximity of the business to the Sunwood apartments. Others simply said the business “has no place in Shelton.”

When Jeanetti continued to question the business’s person in charge of the Facebook page they explained that it will not be a “typical strip joint.”

The person said, “it’s going to be classy not a typical strip joint where you hear rap and have not so nice people in it. We are a speakeasy with discreet Entertainment. Our girls will be in dresses or burlesque themed outfits. Our official open date will be announced soon.”

It was also discovered that the business had advertised happy hour and ladies night promotions in the November issue of a publication entitled, “Sound Magazine.”
According to Schultz his denial letter means that the proposal will no longer appear on the P&Z Commission’s Nov. 14 agenda.

England’s application can be modified to be presented to the P&Z, again, Schultz said.